Indie rapper Qveen Herby aims to define herself with debut album “A WOMAN”

Indie rapper Qveen Herby aims to define herself with debut album “A WOMAN”

After releasing 9 EPs that have been collectively streamed over 200 million times, now-independent rapper and R&B artist Qveen Herby (Amy Noonan) left her record label and has dropped her debut album, A WOMAN, Monday, May 24.

Qveen Herby originally found herself in the spotlight as part of the duo Karmin, consisting of herself and her now-husband and producer Nick Noonan. Their cover of Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne’s “Look At Me Now” went viral on YouTube in 2011. 

It didn’t come without backlash. Given the popularity of the cover and her up and coming career as a rapper, the Nebraska native is criticized to this day for appropriating Black culture in her appearance, style of singing and music video releases. (See “Juice”.)

According to a 2020 Paper interview, Noonan is aware of her position.

“I’ve continued to navigate the topic of appropriation as a white girl making hip-hop music. Asking why so many white female artists are problematic in this regard, and why so few get it right. What I’ve found is that nobody really wants to talk about it. When I fell in love with hip-hop culture all those years ago, I saw musical gods. What I didn’t see was the systemic oppression of Black and Brown people, and the white people who don’t believe it’s real. With my growing platform, it’s my responsibility to respect, honor and appreciate the culture that most inspires my art, and has thoroughly shaped virtually all contemporary music, while acknowledging my white privilege. It was my generation that saw the birth and rise of hip-hop, and I consider it my mission to contribute to the music and culture in a meaningful way.”

As in her former projects, the artist explores individuality, sexuality and ego in the new record. She has called A WOMAN the “final piece to the puzzle” she has arranged over the course of her musical career.

Noonan released said projects independently with her own label, Chessbook Records. This includes popular songs such as “Sugar Daddy” (EP 8) and “Sade in the 90s” (EP 3), a catchy track that’s perfect for sitting poolside with your biggest shades on.

The rapper will perform material from A WOMAN (likely including its single “Juice”) at the OUTLOUD Raising Voices 2021 festival June 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Curated by Adam Lambert, the festival (running June 4-6) will be streamed exclusively on Twitch. Headliners include Sofi Tukker, Hayley Kiyoko and Lambert himself (with special guest Kim Petras). Tickets are now available. 

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